If current research is an indicator, wearable electronics will go far beyond just very small electronic devices or wearable, flexible computers. Not only will these devices be embedded in textile substrates but an electronics device or system could ultimately become the fabric itself. Electronic textiles (e-textiles) will allow the design and production of a new generation of garments with distributed sensors and electronic functions. Such e-textiles will have the revolutionary ability to sense, act, store, emit, and move – think biomedical monitoring functions or new man-machine interfaces – while ideally leveraging an existing low-cost textile manufacturing infrastructure.
All these wearable and potentially textile-embedded electronic gadgets will require power; and it wouldn't make sense to have to plug your sleek flexible sleeve display into a bulky lithium-ion battery brick. Researchers are therefore pushing the development of wearable energy storage. Especially supercapacitors with a cable-type architecture could lead to flexible energy storage devices that can remove traditional restriction and achieve a subversive technology that could open up a path for design innovation.
Researchers have now demonstrated that flexible cotton threads can be used as a platform to fabricate a cable-type supercapacitor.